Open-source group finally unleashes Mozilla 1.0

Open-source development group Mozilla.org finally unleashed its long-awaited Mozilla 1.0 browser suite Wednesday, after four years of toil and testing.

Mozilla 1.0 boasts a Web browser, an e-mail reader and a chat client, as well as a cross-platform toolkit for developing Internet-based applications, the group said. Mozilla's first major public release comes just over a month after the group released the beta version of the software, Mozilla 1.0 Release Candidate 1 (RC1). The release has been eagerly awaited by open-source fans who claim that the new browser could give big-name rivals such as Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer (IE) and Netscape Communications Corp.'s Navigator a run for their money.

The source code for the Mozilla project was initially released by Netscape in early 1998. Since then, thousands of programmers have worked on the project, incorporating features such as tabbed browsing, a chat client, dubbed ChatZilla, and the ability to turn off various JavaScript functions to reduce pop-up ads.

The browser software is powered by the Gecko layout engine, which enables the browser to work as well on devices as it does on desktops, the group said.

Mozilla 1.0 is a cross-platform product supporting Windows, Linux and Macintosh versions 8, 9 and OSX operating systems.

The browser suite is now available free for download at http://www.mozilla.org.

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